stitching sisters

Guilty as charged. My sister just knew she could ask me for a cross stitch pattern of a dog or a puppy and I would find one.

She was right. I found dogs in my file marked animals and puppy patterns in the file of baby projects. Fortunately, I did not have to rummage through the 450 patterns I recently eliminated from my stash – but have not moved out of the house. If I had had to scrounge through that box – to find a pattern for my sister – I would have. After all, I like looking a cross stitch patterns, even if I know I will probably never have time to sew even a fraction of them.

My sister needed a cross stitch pattern – not for Aida cloth – but to give her an idea how to work out a puppy’s face on the afghan she is crocheting for her newest grandson. Between airports and plane rides, she expects to have it done by the time our visit ends.

And visit we will – in the kitchen, with our dad, at the store – but also over needle work. Both my sisters and I inherited our grandmother’s penchant for needlework. We do not leave home without needle work in hand. My New York sister prefers crochet hooks, yarn needles and quilting needles. My Arizona sister (soon to be my Colorado sister) began with crochet hooks, hand work needles and knitting needles.

She took up knitting after she found a complete set of knitting needles in a specially designed canvas tote at a yard sale. Figuring she would one day return to the craft our grandmother taught us, she paid the $5 and took them home. At the time she produced bed spread sized afghans for everyone – including me. I received a warm, white spread with soft bubbles of yarn.

When she visited this summer, she brought me a few cross stitch patterns, but said she kept the rest for her knitting and crochet projects.

I met  my New York sister with a magazine picture of a pretty quilt with radiating rings of fabric and appliques. I wanted to use that idea to design a quilt for our oldest’s upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. Quilting aficionado that she is, she immediately recognized it as a bulls-eye design.

I should have expected her to know the name of the pattern. She regularly meets with quilting friends to convert donated cottons into baby quilts for layettes which her church sends to missionaries. She wore out one quilting cutting mat and replaced it with the Cadillac of cutting boards.

My own stash of quilting supplies, pales in her presence. I bow to her superior skills. She told me she enjoys designing a quilt on graphing paper.  So I took her at her word, pulled out my ideas, my stash of fabric and let her go to it. After, all, if I can share a cross stitch pattern for a few minutes, surely she won’t mind sharing her time and expertise for a few days.